Sustainability is one of the top three challenges for digital advertising businesses
51% of digital advertising businesses don’t currently measure the emissions produced by the delivery of digital ads
Brussels, Belgium, 2nd February 2023 - IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem, today announced the results of its new ‘State of Readiness - Sustainability in Digital Advertising’ Report. The survey received 256 respondents from across 29 European markets and shares key insights on how far the digital advertising industry is progressing on its journey towards the delivery of sustainable digital advertising.
Sustainability is now a key focus for the digital advertising industry. Last year, it was estimated that a typical ad campaign emitted around 5.4 tons of CO2, with a programmatic ad impression producing around one gram of CO2 emissions. When the number of ad impressions transacted on a regular basis multiplies over time, it is easy to see how this has become an imperative problem for the industry.
In order to gain insight into how the digital advertising industry is tackling sustainability and what measures individual companies have in place, IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee developed the State of Readiness – Sustainability in Digital Advertising survey. The survey attracted 256 respondents from across the digital advertising ecosystem with the vast majority coming from Ad Tech, Agency, and Publisher businesses, as well as Advertisers.
Commenting on the findings, Laura Wade, Head of Sustainability at EssenceMediacomX said “With 55% of respondents ‘having started’ or ‘made significant progress’ with their own carbon reduction efforts, I am hopeful this indicates that 2023 is the tipping point for sustainable digital practices to become embedded into the mainstream. However, the report also highlights that we need to focus on education and collaboration to turn this into a reality. I believe we need to act quickly and commit fully, to realise the commercial opportunity that decarbonisation and sustainable innovation unlocks.”
IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee which comprises over 40 European and Global organisations is using the survey findings to help shape its 2023 work plan.
Commenting on the core focus, Andrew Hayward-Wright, IAB Europe’s Programmatic & Sustainability Advisor said, “It is clear from the results that a combination of measurement, standards, and solutions will be key to driving sustainability in digital advertising forward. This year, IAB Europe will focus on delivering standardisation of reporting whilst supporting the industry as it navigates the complex European regulatory environment of sustainability."
Adding to the work being conducted by the Committee, Steffen Johann Hubert, Associate Director & Lead Sustainability, Seven.One Media said, “Sustainability is indispensable for today's and all future generations. Therefore we are pleased to be able to support the development of IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee. The challenge of reconciling the diverse sustainability requirements of regulations, investors, competitors, advertisers, employees, and consumers is enormous and will demand a lot from all market participants. Addressing a common understanding of the challenge via IAB Europe can form an important basis.”
Alongside the work of the Sustainability Standards Committee, IAB Europe has also set up a dedicated Working Group for European National IABs who are currently working together on a joint action plan and charter to show the industry’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, which will be released in the next few weeks.
The full report with accompanying graphs can be downloaded from IAB Europe’s website HERE.
Notes to Editors
About IAB Europe
IAB Europe is the European-level association for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem. Through its membership of media, technology and marketing companies and national IABs, its mission is to lead political representation and promote industry collaboration to deliver frameworks, standards and industry programmes that enable business to thrive in the European market.
About IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee
IAB Europe’s Sustainability Standards Committee was formed in October 2022 with the primary focus of bringing the industry together to create standards for the delivery of digital advertising and to help all industry participants to reduce the amount of energy consumed and carbon emissions produced through the use of digital media.